Download PDF Why I Hate Toni Morrisons BELOVED: several decades of reading unwisely

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Average rating 2. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 03, Mike Witcombe rated it liked it. Don't bother too much with the title essay, if that's putting you off. Not only is it freely available online, but it's not representative of the rest of this short and entertaining collection of reviews and short essays. The essay is weak, more of a provocation than an intervention. In some Don't bother too much with the title essay, if that's putting you off. In some ways, it's an excuse to get Bradfield on to the more compelling subject of canonisation and literary reputation.

The Toni Morrison Encyclopedia

Still, this is better covered by other writers. Even at its most eloquent, Bradfield's piece reads like dime-store Barthes. The rest of the material, though it might seem unpromising, is often wildly entertaining. Bradfield is open about his willingness to take on any vaguely book-related assignment thrust his way. The result is a sprawling, hodge-podge survey of writers from the last odd years. Bradfield is a compelling critic of science fiction, but he also offers a spirited defence of William Gaddis - and an equally spirited savaging of Norman Mailer. Some of the pieces are too brief to give Bradfield enough room to showcase his irreverently learned style, but very few of them are straightforward duds.

If anything brings this collection down, it's the awful copy-editing. This is especially inexcusable in a book of reprinted material, which has already undergone editorial scrutiny. Some of the typographical mistakes are truly embarrassing a personal favourite is a sentence on an author whose style is described as "Borges Ian". Still, the material rises above its presentation. Aug 28, Steve rated it it was ok. Honestly, the title essay, and background info, is worth a read.

Ethics and Aesthetics in Toni Morrison’s Fiction

Never read Morrison myself, nothing I have read about her books makes me think any of them would appeal to me. The rest of the volume is filled out with middle-brow book reviews he churned out for money. Hey, an author's gotta pay the rent, eat, and drink beer too, ya know! Some nicely summarize authors who maybe should still be read.

Others are, well - Thomas Disch should be on a college syllabus? The last 3 or so are kind of Honestly, the title essay, and background info, is worth a read. The last 3 or so are kind of non-literary - including a horrible piece on a soap opera. And just because you saw Art Pepper in your youth does not make him one of the greatest sax players of his generation.

The reviews are quick, and kind of fun to read at times - to remind us who we used to read, and why. To be honest, none of them drove me back to the shelves to pick up these authors again - I already still do read the good ones. Orwell, Thompson, Yates, Millhauser, etc etc. Well, he and I DO agree on the Beats, at least. At the low low kindle price, worth it for the title essay. Thank god. I used to consider myself someone who hates classic. Like Like. I think you could assign Harry Potter in schools and the fact that it was assigned would make students dislike the books!

I go back and forth on this myself.

I kind of hated a lot of the classics I read in high school. Suddenly people were pointing out all these interesting aspects of a book I thought was totally boring when I read it myself.

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Why I Hate Toni Morrisons Beloved Several Decades Of Reading Unwisely

I agree that instead of claiming to hate classics in general, we could consider our feelings about the genres into which specific examples fall, and see if that has anything to do with it. These lists of examples provide some good TBR choices too, for people who want some idea of what to try and avoid. Great post. Someone might hate stream of conscious novels or science fiction. But surely there is another classic out there waiting to be enjoyed!

Like Liked by 1 person.

I enjoy reading most of the classics. Classics are NOT my favourite. I sometimes find that the writing style is a little dry and hard to get into. I find that writing style varies greatly by author but also by time period and genre. The idea of a novel was still pretty new.


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When we widen our understanding of what it means to be a classic novel we get a better understanding of what diverse authors and genres have to offer, and have offered, us and society. Because even classics in the same genre and era can be so vastly different. Maybe it does have something to do with how we view the history of the novel!


  1. Toni Morrison.
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  3. Is It Possible to “Hate Classics?”.
  4. And I agree. Even while making this list I noticed I was struggling to find more diverse authors to list. But I am glad that this a discussion that is being had and that we can continue to widen our definition of what a classic is and who can write one!

    Toni Morrison

    But I appreciate many of them and a lot that appear on this list. Regarding your comment above about Goldman- the book is definitely a classic for those of us who have read and hold it dear. I think there is a distinction being made between fantasy classics and classics but I still think Goldman counts. I agree, although not sure why there is a distinction between the genre and others because there does seem to be. Goldman totally counts haha. Fantasy and genre fiction in general have traditionally struggled to be recognized as real art in some quarters.

    I love how you stated that! I also really like The Picture of Dorian Gray! I used to think that I hated classics but it turns out I just hated being forced to read them for school. But I would disagree that all classics are difficult to read. I would also argue that Harry Potter already is a modern classic. For example, you listed Jane Eyre.